Healthy Food Guide staffer and mother of two, Kirsty Donovan shares her story about taking steps towards a healthier body and mind.
Losing 23 kilos over the course of 2010 from good eating habits was an achievement for Kirsty. But the aim in 2011 to keep losing – 17 more kilos – would be a greater challenge. Kirsty decided to step up weight-loss efforts by joining Fitness Evolved’s Boot Camp.
I can’t believe I’ve signed up to Boot Camp’s 6am starts, three times a week for the next six weeks. It’s been years since I’ve exercised. By the time we have ‘warmed up’ (jogging, squats, push-ups and sit-ups), I am starting to panic. I am in well over my head.
Did they just say a 2.2km run? I’m told we run this distance to take a snapshot of our current fitness levels. On the run, I start to struggle with breathing as I’m very unfit and freaking out – I can’t run to the letterbox let alone 2.2km. I vow not to be last and I come in third to last in a group of 100 or so. First goal achieved! I knew I was unfit but this is a real eye opener.
Boot Camp this week has been emotional. I feel embarrassed at my lack of fitness. I try to tell myself: “It’s just about me, don’t compare yourself to others,” but my pride comes to the fore and I feel bad about being ‘one of the last ones’. I can, and will, conquer these mind games.
Running is just the half of it. We also do push-ups, squats, lunges and back exercises… no let up, no excuses. I feel so tired, I feel like I’m dragging my body around. It’s a struggle but I also feel quietly proud of myself when I manage to push my body through the mental and physical barriers.
The fact that I’m not allowing myself to make any excuses is a new thing for me. It helps that during Boot Camp mornings, fellow boot campers and trainers keep up with the encouragement. After one session I’m told I have basically run non-stop for one hour. I have never run for an hour in my life!
I missed Boot Camp one morning and strangely enough, I missed it! Who would’ve thought?
With this constant activity, I go to bed exhausted at about 8pm and sleep uninterrupted until 7am. Unheard of! But I still dread running – enough to say bring on the sit-ups and push-ups!
This week during one session, we run between 5-6km. And I do it. If I had known a 5-6km run was on the cards beforehand, I would have just assumed there was no way I could do it and rather than put myself through the humiliation I would have not come. But I realise now that no one at Boot Camp laughs at you (as I feared), and I am tougher than I thought.
When the halfway mark morning arrives to check our progress, that 2.2km run is on the agenda. I fight off my thoughts of being ‘last’ and ‘slow’ so I don’t lose control of my breathing. I manage not to panic and I win that constant mental battle urging me to stop. I get really breathless twice on the run but only allow myself 10 walking steps in order to get a grip on it and then, I start running again.
I feel sick when I finish but I complete it. And apart from those steps, I end up running the whole way. Amazing for me! I also shave two whole minutes off my original time! I feel emotional and teary achieving my two goals, for sticking with Boot Camp and the 6am starts, and being brave to continue. What a high! I find myself looking forward to Week four and beyond. My body just feels like it wants to move.”